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Main > Slavic Folktale > Fairy tale "Imperishable"

Imperishable

You must understand that he who would be my husband must have triple youth, that of heart, soul, and body.”

“Charming princess, if I could become young again we would be married directly.”

She replied, “But I have the means of making you so, and by help of this sword in my hand. For with it I will pierce you to the heart, then cut up your body into small pieces, wash them carefully, and join them together again. And if I breathe upon them you will return to life young and handsome, just as if you were only twenty years of age.”

“Oh indeed! I should like to know who would submit to that; first make trial of Sir Niezguinek here.”

The princess looked at him, whereupon he bowed and said, “Lovely princess, I willingly submit, although I am young enough without it. In any case life without you would be valueless.”

Then the princess took a step towards him and killed him with her sword. She cut him up in pieces and washed these in pure water, after which she joined them together again and breathed upon them. Instantly Niezguinek sprang up full of life and health, and looked so handsome and bright that the old king, who was dreadfully jealous, exclaimed, “Make me, too, young again, princess; do not lose a moment.”

The princess pierced him to the heart with her sword, cut him up into little pieces, and, opening the window, threw them out, at the same time calling the king’s dogs, who quickly ate them up. Then she turned to Niezguinek and said, “Proclaim yourself king, and I will be your queen.”

He followed her advice, and within a short time they were married; his brothers, whom he had pardoned, and his parents having been invited to the wedding. On their way back from the church the magic sword suddenly clinked, and, flashing in the air, divided itself into a thousand swords that placed themselves on guard as sentinels all round the palace. The guzla, too, began to play so sweetly and gaily that every living thing began to dance for joy.

The festival was magnificent.

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